Zien, an open platform for transforming the contemporary art economy has announced Xia Chengan’s phygitial project Ch’iung Lien: A Forgotten Cultural Symbol. Twenty unique NFTs and their respective prints will also be sold in three different sizes. Manufactured to order, each print will be encased in acrylic or a gilded aluminum frame.
Xia Chengan graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and now lives and works in Shanghai. Inspired by aesthetics he has encountered in Chinatown’s alleys and Shanghai street banners, he uses multimedia to deconstruct visual symbols and recreate them through appropriation and collage.
Ch’iung Lien hybridizes the Galloisiana Sinensis insect found in Northeastern China as well as iconic Chinese cultural symbols to create 20 unique phygital artworks. Galloisiana Sinensis is used as a metaphor for how traditions are recontextualized for political, nationalistic or social agendas. Xia “crossbreeds” the insect with symbols known universally as Chinese to amplify the concept of cultural remix and elevate it to a national symbol.
Tying this together with the transformative technology of the blockchain — which has found a peculiar and uneasy presence within China — Xia’s project reminds us of the fluidity of identity in the digitized age.